After any kind of natural disaster, news reports are filled with stories of missing dogs, lucky pets reunited with owners and tales of daring rescues of animals that found themselves in trouble.
But what about all the pets go missing and get in trouble when there’s no disaster looming? Or just before a disaster strikes?
Those that need help at a time that the focus is on a storm heading their way can easily get lost in the shuffle.
That’s what happened to a little dog named Oreo whose owner was combing the streets in Houston, Texas in the days when Hurricane Harvey was just starting to take the deep breath that would do its best to blow Texas off the map.
Linda White had no idea what had happened to little Oreo. He was happy at home and rarely made any attempts to slip away. But, one day, he just wasn’t there any more.
Linda called all her neighbors, put up posters and did all of the things that you’re supposed to do when a loved one goes missing.
But, everyone was focused on the storm that was about to hit. Not on a shaggy little black and white Shih Tzu that would soon be facing the storm alone if his mother couldn’t find him.
With a heavy heart, Linda began making the preparations to save the rest of her family. She didn’t stop looking for Oreo. Nor did she stop praying that he would find her, but, life does go on.
Life did indeed go on. And it did so without Oreo in her arms. Linda grieved the loss of Oreo, along with all of the things that they had lost in the storm. Even with her diligent preparation, they had lost most of their possessions as well as their vehicle.
Starting over, without knowing what had happened to Oreo seemed almost too much for them to bear.
Then, one day, Linda got a phone call that she had prayed for, but had almost abandoned any hope of ever getting.
Oreo had been found!
That was the good news. The bizarre news was where he had ended up.
Twelve hundred miles away in Midland, Michigan, a cute little black and white dog had been picked up by a good Samaritan to keep him from getting hit by a car. He was wandering on a busy street, seemingly dazed and confused.
They took him to the Midland County Humane Society. The first thing that’s done for any stray that comes to the shelter is to look for a microchip that might aid them in finding its owner.
They smiled when a chip number popped up on their screening device. Then their smiles turned to dismay when they saw that the number was registered to a family in Houston, Texas.
Usually, when a dog turns up that isn’t chipped to a local number, it all too often ends up being a dead end.
But, not this time! When they dialed the phone number associated with the chip registration number, a woman answered.
When they described the dog that had been turned in, the voice on the phone broke into tears. Whispering brokenly, “my baby, my baby.”
Indeed, Linda’s baby had been found! Safe and sound…and 1,200 miles away from home.
Once they knew where Oreo belonged, the story wasn’t over. There wasn’t a completely happy ending yet. They still had to figure out how to get Oreo home.
Since the family had lost almost everything, including their vehicle, to Hurricane Harvey, them driving to get Oreo was out of the question. So, the Humane Society put all of their resources into finding the right “travel agent” to get Oreo home.
They posted on their Facebook page asking if someone might be traveling to Texas that could take Oreo along. Or perhaps someone had some frequent flier miles they would donate to the cause.
Their phone almost rang off the wall with calls from people wanting to help the little dog make his journey home.
Finally, the perfect answer came in the form of Brandon and Courtney from Midland, Michigan. Brandon is a pilot for United. He and his wife got Oreo back to Texas on a plane and then rented a car to drive him the rest of the way home.
When they pulled up at Linda’s home, her joy at being reunited with Oreo made every bit of their effort worthwhile.
Courtney said they were asked why they went to so much trouble for someone they didn’t know. “It’s simple. We have a daughter, she’s 14 months old. I want her to know that she should do kind things for others because what kind of world would this be if we didn’t help each other out?” she told ABC13.
White’s gratitude to Courtney and Brandon was boundless, but she didn’t forget who else she needed to thank.
“God is awesome. He’s awesome for doing that cause I didn’t know who had him or where he would go!”
If only Oreo could talk. There’s no way of knowing how on earth he ended up 1,200 miles away. In a place that no one in his family had any connection or had ever been.
We won’t ever know how he got lost from his family. Or how he ended up where he did. But, we do know one thing. We’re grateful for people like the folks at the Midland Humane Society and people like Courtney and Brandon (as well as the dozens of others who made offers to help).
It reminds us that no matter how dismal life may seem when you read the headlines of the news today…there are still good people out there. And good things do still happen when we least expect it!
Source: WNEM NEWS